Montenegro Fish Stew from Bay of Kotor Recipe

Fish Stew from Bay of Kotor

Montenegro Fish Stew from Bay of Kotor Recipe
Region / culture: Montenegro | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 2 hours | Servings: 4


Fish Stew from Bay of Kotor
Fish Stew from Bay of Kotor

Fish stew from the Bay of Kotor is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed for generations in the coastal region of Montenegro. This hearty and flavorful stew is made with fresh sprat or anchovy, onions, celery, parsley, garlic, and a variety of seasonings. It is simmered in a rich broth of fish soup and white wine, creating a delicious and comforting meal that is perfect for any occasion.


The recipe for fish stew from the Bay of Kotor has been passed down through families in the region for centuries. The dish is a reflection of the area's rich maritime history and the abundance of fresh seafood that can be found in the Bay of Kotor. Fish stew has long been a staple in Montenegrin cuisine, and it continues to be a beloved dish that is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.


How to prepare

  1. Chop the onions and place them in a slightly heated pan with 1 dcl of olive oil.
  2. Add the celery and parsley, along with the prepared seasoning, red pepper, and garlic.
  3. Place the fish on top. Add the remaining onions, celery, and other ingredients over the fish.
  4. Pour in white wine or fish soup, and add some more oil until the pan is almost full.
  5. Allow it to boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it cook for a minimum of 2 hours.


  • Add diced tomatoes or bell peppers for a pop of color and flavor.
  • Use different types of fish, such as mackerel or sardines, for a unique twist on the traditional recipe.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to use fresh sprat or anchovy for the best flavor in this dish.

- Allow the stew to simmer slowly over low heat to allow the flavors to meld together.

- Adjust the seasonings to taste, adding more salt, pepper, or garlic as needed.

- Serve the stew with crusty bread or over a bed of rice for a complete meal.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the fish stew with a side of crusty bread or over a bed of rice for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Slow simmering the stew over low heat allows the flavors to develop and meld together for a rich and flavorful dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If sprat or anchovy is not available, you can use another type of small, oily fish such as sardines or mackerel.

Make Ahead Tips

This stew can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving for a quick and easy meal.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the fish stew in individual bowls garnished with fresh parsley or a drizzle of olive oil for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair this fish stew with a crisp white wine or a light beer for a perfect match.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

200 per serving


12g per serving


8g per serving


20g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as iron and calcium.


This dish contains fish and may not be suitable for those with seafood allergies.


This fish stew is a nutritious and delicious meal that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. It is a great source of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy choice for any diet.


Fish stew from the Bay of Kotor is a delicious and comforting dish that is perfect for any occasion. Made with fresh sprat or anchovy, onions, celery, parsley, and a variety of seasonings, this stew is simmered in a rich broth of fish soup and white wine for a flavorful and satisfying meal. Enjoy this traditional Montenegrin dish with crusty bread or over a bed of rice for a complete and nutritious meal.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is etched in my memory like a vivid painting, bringing back the sights, sounds, and smells of the bustling Bay of Kotor. It was a warm summer day, with the sun shining brightly in the clear blue sky, casting a golden glow over the ancient stone buildings lining the shore. The salty scent of the sea mingled with the fragrant aroma of herbs and spices drifting from the market stalls, creating a tantalizing olfactory symphony that beckoned me closer.

I was wandering through the maze of narrow alleyways, browsing the colorful displays of fresh fish, vegetables, and fruits, when I caught sight of an elderly woman hunched over a large cauldron bubbling away with a rich, savory stew. Intrigued by the delicious smells wafting from the pot, I approached her and struck up a conversation. She introduced herself as Ana, a local fisherman's wife, and offered to share her family's recipe for Fish Stew from the Bay of Kotor with me.

As we chatted, Ana explained that the recipe had been passed down through generations in her family, originating from the days when their ancestors first settled along the Adriatic coast. It was a dish that had sustained them through hard times and celebrations alike, a symbol of their connection to the sea and the bounty it provided.

Ana's eyes twinkled with pride as she recounted the ingredients and techniques that went into making the stew. Fresh fish caught that morning, tomatoes grown in their garden, fragrant herbs and spices gathered from the hillsides overlooking the bay - each element carefully selected and lovingly prepared to create a dish that was greater than the sum of its parts.

She invited me to join her in preparing the stew, guiding me through each step with patience and skill. We cleaned and filleted the fish, chopped the vegetables, and simmered everything together in a savory broth infused with garlic, bay leaves, and a hint of saffron. The aromas that filled the kitchen were intoxicating, transporting me back to that bustling market in the heart of Kotor.

As the stew bubbled away on the stove, Ana regaled me with stories of her family's fishing exploits, the storms they weathered, and the feasts they shared with friends and neighbors. It was a world rich in tradition and camaraderie, where food was not just sustenance but a source of joy and connection.

Finally, the stew was ready, its flavors melded together in a harmonious blend of sweetness, saltiness, and spice. Ana ladled generous portions into bowls, garnishing each with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. We sat down at the table, our bowls steaming before us, and took our first spoonfuls.

The taste was divine - a symphony of flavors that danced on my tongue, each bite a revelation of the sea's bounty and the land's abundance. I savored every mouthful, feeling the warmth of the stew nourish not just my body but my soul as well.

As we ate, Ana shared more stories of her family's culinary traditions, their rituals and superstitions, and the joy they found in sharing food with loved ones. I listened intently, absorbing every word, knowing that I had stumbled upon a treasure trove of knowledge that would enrich my own cooking for years to come.

When the last spoonful had been savored and the bowls lay empty before us, Ana clasped my hand in hers and smiled. "Now you know the secret of our Fish Stew from the Bay of Kotor," she said, her eyes shining with pride. "May it bring you as much joy and nourishment as it has brought my family through the ages."

And with that blessing, I bid Ana farewell, carrying with me not just a recipe but a piece of her family's history, a connection to a world rich in tradition and love. The memory of that day in the bustling market of Kotor will forever be etched in my heart, a reminder of the power of food to unite us across time and distance.


| Montenegrin Meat Dishes | Montenegrin Recipes | Slavic Recipes | White Wine Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients

(6) Ajvar
(6) Ragu